The National Music Publishers’ Association has flexed its muscles against fitness provider Peloton, after serving it with a licensing suit to the tune of $150m.
The exercise bike specialist stands accused of illegally using over 1,000 songs to help motivate its customers without having first obtained the proper consent – with popular artists ranging Justin Bieber and Rihanna to Ed Sheeran said to be among those affected.
Explaining their motivations behind the move, NMPA president and chief executive David Israelite said: “Unfortunately, instead of recognizing the integral role of songwriters to its company, Peloton has built its business by using their work without their permission or fair compensation for years. It is frankly unimaginable that a company of this size and sophistication would think it could exploit music in this way without the proper licenses for this long, and we look forward to getting music creators what they deserve.”
In a statement to Tech Crunch, Peloton defended its practices, saying: “Peloton has great respect for songwriters and artists. In fact, we have partnered with each of the major music publishers, record labels and performing rights organizations, and many leading independents. We have also invested heavily to build a best-in-breed reporting and licensing system to support our partners and provide our members with a world-class fitness experience."
Peloton's marketing is built around motivating customers to ride past their expectations.